Inside-Out Cannolis with a Twist of Lime. (Courtesy of Diane Boyd of Cape Fear Nutrition/MCT)
June is Dairy Month and time to explore the secrets, stories and statistics of America's edible obsession — cheese! According to lore, the legacy of cheese goes back more than 4,000 years to an Arabian traveler who carried milk in a pouch across the hot desert. Luckily today, cheese-making is a highly regulated process and utilizes more than one-third of all the milk that is produced in the U.S. Lactose intolerant? Hard cheeses that are low in lactose are more easily digested. With more than 2,000 different kinds of cheese consumed worldwide, and 300 different varieties here in the U.S., there's a cheese for every taste and preference.
Get started sampling some of the many cheeses available today with a featured family meal of Chicken with Feta Sauce, Boston Lettuce Salad with Creamy Orange Shallot Dressing and Inside Out Cannolis with a Twist of Lime, made with ricotta cheese. Explore even more varieties all week long with Apple, Sauerkraut & Cheddar Quesadillas, Broccoli with Creamy Parmesan Sauce, Quick French Onion Soup with gruyere and Fresh Mozzarella Tomato Basil Salad.
Learn even more about America's edible obsession by downloading Dairy Council of California's new Cheese! Brochure here: http://www.healthyeating.org/Portals/0/Documents/Milk%20Dairy/cheese_brochure.pdf Share your favorite ways to include three servings of milk and milk products in your diet every day by posting on Facebook or Twitter with the #IHeartDairy hashtag.
FEATURED FAMILY MEAL:
CHICKEN WITH FETA SAUCE
Total preparation time: 15 to 30 minutes
Actual cooking time: 15 to 30 minutes
Number of servings: 4 (319 calories/serving)
4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoons ground thyme
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground oregano
1 cup fat-free milk
1 cup thawed frozen Broccoli, carrot and cauliflower medley
1/3 cup crumbled peppercorn flavored or plain feta cheese
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 cups hot cooked orzo or white rice
1. On a sheet of wax paper, sprinkle the chicken with vinegar and thyme.
2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat the oil. Cook the chicken until browned and cooked through, 4-5 minutes on each side. Transfer to plate.
3. Sprinkle the flour and oregano over the pan juices; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in the milk; cook, whisking constantly, until thick and bubbling, 2-3 minutes.
4. Stir in veggies, cheese and lemon juice. Reduce the heat and simmer until cheese melts, about 2 minutes.
5. Place the rice on a large platter; top with chicken. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.
(Source: Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook)
BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD WITH CREAMY ORANGE SHALLOT DRESSING
Total preparation time: less than 15 minutes
Actual cooking time: no cooking required
Number of servings: 4 (64 calories/serving)
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/4 cup fresh orange juice (about 1 orange)
2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot
Freshly ground pepper to taste
5 cups Boston lettuce (1 large head), washed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
1 cup julienned or grated carrot (1 cup)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed and halved
2 tablespoons snipped fresh tarragon or chives
1. Whisk mayonnaise and mustard in a small bowl. Slowly whisk in orange juice until smooth. Stir in shallot. Season with pepper.
2. Divide lettuce among 4 plates and scatter carrots and tomatoes on top. Drizzle dressing over salads and sprinkle with tarragon (or chives), if desired. Serve immediately.
(Source: Dr. Weil)
INSIDE OUT CANNOLIS WITH A TWIST OF LIME
Total preparation time: 45 minutes
Actual cooking time: no cooking required
Number of servings: 8 (343 calories/serving)
1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 cup California heavy cream
1 cup California reduced fat ricotta cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Finely grated zest of 1/2 lime
Chopped pistachios, for topping
Plain crisp wafer cookies, for serving
1. Stir fresh lime juice into sweetened condensed milk and set aside.
2. Combine ricotta, confectioners' sugar, and lime zest in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth, about 1 minute.
3. Pour heavy cream into another bowl and beat on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes. (Test the stiffness by pulling a beater out of the cream. The whipped cream should hold its shape and cling to the beater.)
4. Fold one-third of the whipped cream into ricotta mixture with a rubber spatula until combined and uniform. Gently fold in remaining whipped cream.
5. Spread half of the ricotta mousse into a pie plate or loaf pan. Drizzle with half of the lime sauce. Repeat with remaining ricotta mousse and lime sauce. Chill, uncovered 30 minutes or up to overnight.
6. Spoon ricotta mousse mixture into cups or bowls and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Serve with crisp wafer cookies on the side.
(Source: Cape Fear Nutrition Blog — Diane Boyd)
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